Consumers Gone Wild: Roundup Of Black Friday Violence

Black Friday brought savings, hoopla, and consumer on consumer violence. Here’s a best-of. — BEN POPKEN

New York Times reports:

    Shortly after midnight yesterday, an estimated 15,000 shoppers pushed and shoved their way into the Fashion Place mall in Murray, Utah. Police soon joined them, responding to reports of nine skirmishes.

    Once inside, shoppers ransacked stores, overturning piles of clothes as they looked for bargains. A retailer’s dream — too many customers! — quickly turned into a nightmare, forcing store clerks to shut their doors, and only let people in after others left. The mall even briefly closed its outside doors to avoid a fire hazard.

More death and destruction, inside…


    At the Wal-Mart outside Columbus, customers dashing toward 5 a.m. deals pinned employees against stacks of merchandise.

    “Oh, my god, stop pushing me, oh, my god,” screamed Linda Tuttle, a 47-year-old employee at the store.

Virginia TV newscast reports:

    The rush at Roanoke’s Best Buy turned violent, just seconds after the doors opened at 5 a.m. NewsChannel 10 caught a man on video hitting someone over and over. Watching in slow motion you can see him hit someone at least 5 times.

Scranton newspaper reports:

    The scene at many stores was part Woodstock, part Lord of the Flies, as hundreds hunkered for hours bundled in clothes, wrapped in blankets and holding coffee cups and crumbled newspaper inserts.

    As the 5 a.m. opening at Best Buy approached, latecomers crashed the line marked by yellow tape, jockeying for pole position with people who stood in the cold for hours.

    Attempting to quell the crowd, a store manager jumped on a garbage can and threatened to call police. Store employees handed out tickets, entitling the bearer to one of the limited number of so-called “doorbuster” items.

    Many of those in the line circling the building had no idea that the front of the store was on the brink of chaos, or that items they waited for were already claimed.

In Torrance, California, the Mercury News reports:

    An elderly woman and nine other bargain hunters were injured Friday in a rush for gift certificates dropped from the ceiling of a local mall.

    Some 2,000 shoppers rushed for 500 falling prize-filled balloons at the Del Amo Fashion Center, leaving nine with minor wounds and sending an elderly woman to the hospital.

Retail Mayhem Roundup [Murketing]


Edit Your Comment

  1. zibby says:

    Don’t these people have the internet?

  2. timmus says:

    Safety issues aside, this chaos sounds like a shoplifter’s (or looter’s) dream.

  3. schvitzatura says:

    Didn’t those poor Soviet bastards queue up outside GUM, for a chance at buying some crappy item, up until the early 1990s:

    After reopening as a department store in 1953, the GUM became one of the few stores in the Soviet Union that was not plagued by shortages of consumer goods, and the queues to purchase anything were long, often extending all across Red Square.

    I guess we’re no better off, considering the forced scarcity of these bargain door-busters that American proles line up for…sad really.

  4. emax4 says:

    The funny thing is that the gift recipients probably couldn’t care less about the turmoil that one went through just to get the gift for them.

  5. byteme3131 says:

    No, the sad thing is people are that ignorant i.e. standing hours in line in freezing weather to save a couple bucks on an item. Get a life.

  6. Paul D says:

    I would refuse ANY gift acquired through such ludicrous means.

    No joke.

  7. First thing that came to my mind, like schvitzatura, was the royalty laughing at the stupid proletariat huddled masses killing each other to buy buy buy, spend spend spend, obey obey obey!

    Get a life is right… Or better yet, get a brain and think for yourself.

  8. Solo says:

    A deeper look into Human Nature. And don’t forget these ‘incidents’ were caused by eagerness to aquire luxury (=unnecessary) items.

    Imagine what our modern societies would turn into if we had a sudden scarcity of essential items, like food and water.

  9. cindel says:

    I used to live in Torrance; other than the squirrels, the people there are Gangsta!

  10. acambras says:

    Solo, didn’t that pretty much happen in New Orleans and South Mississippi last year?

  11. Frank Grimes says:

    My guess is that most of these chuckleheads in line walk are the types that walk into a car dealership and pay sticker or pony up 10% for financing becuase their monthly payment is “great”…idiots.

  12. ElizabethD says:

    Enough! I call for a moratorium on all this Black Friday nonsense. So what if there are a few good deals to be had? The greedy feeding frenzy of those pre-dawn mobs is a revolting sight and makes me question Americans’ sanity, not to mention their (our) sense of perspective.

    I suppose the horse has left the barn when it comes to the capitalism-on-steroids state of our annual winter holiday shopping, but I can still rant about it. And I will! Hey, I *am*!

  13. etinterrapax says:

    I was just feeling kind of guilty for being scornful of a good friend for camping outside of Circuit City to get a new laptop for Christmas. She was like, “No, it was fun!” I was embarrassed for her.

  14. Principia says:

    When I got to the mall at a civilized hour, one would not even have thought ’twas Black Friday. If having the loss-leader specials at such patently ridiculous hours keeps me and the other normal shoppers from getting stompled by the lunatics, I’m all for it.

    My friends and I have speculated that perhaps the retailers have started having their specials so early precisely to keep the rabid masses away from the calmer customers who were complaining about getting mauled in the middle of the day.